"Marianne Chan's brilliant debut collection masterfully develops themes of identity and the long-term effects of colonization."
All Heathens is a declaration of ownership--of bodies, of histories, of time. Revisiting Magellan's voyage around the world, these poems explore the speaker's Filipino American identity by grappling with her relationship to her family and notions of diaspora, circumnavigation, and discovery. Whether rewriting the origin story of Eve ("I always imagined that the serpent had the legs of a seductive woman in black nylons"), or ruminating on what-should-have-been-said "when the man at the party said he wanted to own a Filipino," Chan paints wry, witty renderings of anecdotal and folkloric histories, while both preserving and unveiling a self-identity that dares any other to try and claim it.
Sarabande Books, 9781946448521, 96pp.
Publication Date: March 24, 2020